The Auto-Import Feature in Control allows users to tie Control into other programs, such as web lead programs and external contact management. The SSLIP monitors a folder and when a file is placed into it uses Control's built-in import and mapping capabilities to try and import the data.

The basic steps in the auto-import process are:

  1. Setup the SSLIP to monitor a hot folder.
  2. Restart the SSLIP.
  3. Create a map file for the import format in Control.
  4. Copy the map file into the MAPS subfolder.
  5. Drop the import files into the hot folder.

It is that simple. The rest of this document covers these steps in details.

Note: The Auto-Import feature was released with Control 4.1. Map files created with earlier versions will not work with the auto-import feature. To update them, open the map files in Control and resave them. This will add the additional information needed for the Auto-Import feature to work.

When auto-import is enabled, the SSLIP monitors a “hot” folder (a.k.a. “live” folder) for any changes. When a file is placed in that folder, the SSLIP automatically tries to import the file.

When the SSLIP is setup to monitor a hot folder, it will auto create the folder structure. To do this manually, create the following folders on the same computer as the SSLIP:

C:\Program Files\Cyrious\SSLIP\HotFolders\ImportHotFolder\Import

You may also need to share this folder if the source of the import files is not on the same computer. If so, we recommend you name the share ImportHotFolder$. (The dollar sign at the end makes it a hidden share that will not show up in Windows Explorer but can still be accessed by typing the path directly.)

Under the ImportHotFolder\Import, create four additional folders:

  • C:\Program Files\Cyrious\SSLIP\HotFolders\ImportHotFolder\Import\Maps
    This folder is where the map files (created in the next step) are stored. You can have multiple map files for different import sources as long as you keep the naming unique.
  • C:\Program Files\Cyrious\SSLIP\HotFolders\ImportHotFolder\Import\Logs
    Since the conversion is not monitored, any messages are written to log files and put in this folder.
  • C:\Program Files\Cyrious\SSLIP\HotFolders\ImportHotFolder\Import\Completed
    Upon successful import, the SSLIP will move the import file from the Import folder into the Completed folder.
  • C:\Program Files\Cyrious\SSLIP\HotFolders\ImportHotFolder\Import\Failed
    Upon a failed import, the SSLIP will move the import file from the Import folder into the failed folder. An error message containing the problem will be placed in the llogs folder.

Copy the map file you created above to the Maps folder. During the auto-import process, the SSLIP will automatically look for all map files in the Maps folder.

Within Control, you create the map file just like you were doing a regular import. Within Control, click on Tools | Import Data | Import from Text Files. This will open the generic import screen.

Choose your import file on the right and select the type of import on the left. Now establish a mapping of the fields in both panels by selecting a field in your import document and the corresponding field in the Control tree and clicking Add Link. Repeat this process until you have mapped all of the desired fields in your import document to their corresponding Control fields. When you are satisfied with the mappings established, click on the Save Mapping button and enter a file name.

The map file name will need to match the import file so that the auto-import can associate the mapping. (This allows you to have multiple map files working simultaneously.) The mapping file name will be

[[mapfile.map]]

For customers, you might name the file Customer.map. If however, you have two different sources for customer imports, you might use more descriptive names like WebCustomers.map and POSCustomers.map. Under the importing data section, you will see that you must name the import file properly so the SSLIP will find the corresponding map file.

Copy the map file to the Maps folder located at:

C:\Program Files\Cyrious\SSLIP\HotFolders\ImportHotFolder\Import\Maps

When auto-import is enabled, the SSLIP monitors a “hot” folder (a.k.a. “live” folder) for any changes. When a file is placed in that folder, the SSLIP automatically tries to import the file.

To set up the SSLIP for auto-import, all you need to do is enable the hot folder using these steps:

  1. Log into the SSLIP and click on Database Administration.
  2. Select the Control StoreData group and click Edit.
  3. Check the “Enable Hot Folder” checkbox and enter the name of the Hot Folder (ImportHotFolder in these examples). Note that you may not specify a full path, but only the name of the folder under the SSLIP folder.
  4. Save the setting.
  5. Restart the SSLIP.



The SSLIP actively monitors the ImportHotFolder. If it finds a new file in the \Import folder, the SSLIP attempts to import the file. The processing that occurs depends upon the extension of the new file.

TXT and CSV Files

Import files ending with .TXT are assumed to be tab-delimited files, whereas .CSV is the traditional ending for a commas-delimited file. (Regardless of the extension, the actual file type must be specified by the map file).

When a new TXT or CSV import file is places in the ImportHotFolder\Import folder, the SSLIP assumes the file has a corresponding map file and should be imported. The name of the file must also contain a caret and the name of the map file, as in:

[[xxxxxxx]]^[[mapfile]].txt

[[xxxxxxx]]^[[mapfile]].csv

where

[[xxxxxxx]] = a name given to the file

[[mapfile]] = the name of the map file in the MAPS folder (with an extension of .map)


The SSLIP then looks for the map file by the name .map in the ImportHotFolder\Imports\Maps folder. If the map file can't be located, the import will fail and the SSLIP will generate a corresponding log file. If the map file is found, the appropriate files are loaded and the import begins.

The SSLIP writes the results of the import to the Results Log. If there are any errors during the import process, the SSLIP writes these errors to the Error Log and cancels the import.

XML Files

If the file ends with .XML, the SSLIP assumes it is a native Control file and tries to imports it accordingly. There are no other configuration options.

The SSLIP writes the results of the import to the Results Log. If there are any errors during the import process, the SSLIP writes these errors to the Error Log and cancels the import.

If two files are to be imported in combination, such as a Customer list and a separate Contacts list, you will need to use a Text Link file. If you drop either file in the folder individually, they could be processed before the other file was written, resulting in an error.

If the file ends with .TXTLINKS, the SSLIP assumes the file is a text document that contains the path to a map file and one or two import files. The contents of the files must conform to the following example:

[[mapfilepath]]\[[mapfile]].link

[[filepathA]]\[[filenameA]].txt

[[filepathB]]\[[filenameB]].txt

where

[[mapfilepath]] = the path of the map file.

[[mapfilename]] = the name of the map file.

[[filepathA]] = the path of the primary import file.

[[filenameA]] = the name of the primary import file.

[[filepathB]] = the path of the dependent import file.

[[filenameB]] = the name of the dependent import file.

The map file and first import file are required. The second import file, if specified, should be the dependent import file. An absolute path (like C:\Temp\Cust.TXT) or a UNC path (like \\Server\\Import$\Cust.TXT) is acceptable, though the TXTLINKS file itself must be located in the ImportHotFolder.

The results and errors are logged normally.

Other File Types

The SSLIP ignores any other file types found in the ImportHotFolder.

During the import process, the results Control normally displays on screen are written into a log file located in the \LOGS folder. The file name of the log file is:

yyyymmdd-hhnn–results.log

where

yyyy = current year

mm = current month (01-12)

dd = current day (01-31)

[[filename]] = the file name of the import file

This file should be deleted by the application which generated the import file, or by the user at least monthly.

Because the SSLIP is an unmanned program, user intervention is not possible Any errors in the import process are written to an error log located in the \LOGS folder. The file name of the error file is:

yyyymmdd-hhnn–error.log

where

yyyy = current year

mm = current month (01-12)

dd = current day (01-31)

[[filename]] = the file name of the import file

There are no warnings within Control, and it is up to the source of the import file to handle any errors. After processing the error, this file should be deleted by the application which generated the import file, or by the user at least monthly.

After the import, the imported file is moved out of the ImportHotFolder. This keeps the import folder free of processed items. For TXTLINKS files, the TXTLINKS file is moved but the referenced data files are not.

If the import was successful, the file is moved into the ImportHotFolder\Completed folder. If the import generated an error, the import is canceled and the file is moved to the ImportHotFolder\Failed folder.

Periodically, you will want to remove the old import files from these folders.

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